PlayMob, the social gaming company that enables charities to fundraise through in-game micropayments, has secured £500,000 in investment from NESTA and venture capital fund manager Midven plus a number of angel investors.
The company, which was founded in 2007, created the ‘GiverBoard’ technology. This lets computer game players fundraise for charity by purchasing virtual items during a game. These items could be relevant, such as a virtual tractor raising funds for a charity that works with farming groups, or simple badges or other rewards.
PlayMob ran a Thanksgiving campaign in November 2011 where virtual food hats were sold, raising over $3,500 to pay for Thanksgiving meals for homeless children and families in New York.
In September 2011, players of Parallel Kingdom were able to purchase a special edition virtual soup can hat for their character. Each purchase helped pay for a meal for a homeless person via the HELP USA charity. Over $3000 was raised in just two weeks, feeding hundreds of people.
The investment will be used to increase staff from 8 to 13 people, to improve the technology, and to develop new sources of income, such as the facility to incorporate advertising and sponsorship from companies within games to generate even more for charity partners.
Founder and CEO of PlayMob, Jude Ower, says: ‘We passionately believe that gaming can have huge social benefits. Our technology gives charities and brands access to hundreds of millions of players, during the three billion hours per week spent playing games.”
Libby Kinsey, Investment Manager at NESTA, said: “PlayMob’s technology represents an exciting mix of a simple idea, unique and sophisticated technology, social benefits and commercial potential. We’re delighted to announce our investment to scale up their operations and deliver some real impact in both the gaming and charity sectors.”
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